Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"One Passion, Many Voices," a juried exhibition in New Bedford, MA, February 5 – April 3, 2011

Two of my pieces are in this show. I will be at the artist reception on March 5, 2011, 3 – 5 pm
384 Acushnet Ave.
New Bedford, MA 02740

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Seeds of Honesty"

Seeds of Honesty, II  silk crepe 23" x 70"
Background was painted in layers with transparent textile paints then sunprinted using lily pads as masks. The seed pods, predyed chiffon and white organza pieces were fused on using MistyFuse. 

I always thought the plant was called "money plant" or "silver dollar plant," until I learned that, in England, they call this "honesty plant". (Leave it to Americans to change such a lovely name to, well,...)

These plants appear in my garden each spring as volunteers, with lovely pink or white flowers in spring/summer, then the flat oval seedpod in the fall. When you tease away the outer husks you find a silky white center. I experimented with several methods trying to find the best way to attach these to fabric. The best by far was Mistyfuse. I even tried washing a test piece and the embellishment remained intact.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"The Painted Lake"

My sister-in-law Julia Usher has been visiting from England and we have enjoyed afternoon walks in the nearby woodlands. I took these photos at the Mount Misery conservation land in Lincoln, MA. Julia is a watercolorist and has been trying to capture these views in her paintings. She came up with the title, "The Painted Lake," because of the autumn hues reflected on the water in late afternoon light.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

24 x 80 Art Cloth Network's Exhibition

"One thousand nine hundred twenty square inches"
Silk Crepe, MX dyes, discharge paste, textile paints,
composition metal leaf

I prepared two pieces for the upcoming Art Cloth Network exhibition. The unifying theme for this exhibit will be the consistent size of each piece: 24 x 80."

I started this piece as I usually do, by manipulating the cloth, using physical resist processes — binding, clamping, wrapping — derived from the Japanese shibori tradition. I usually do several layers of shibori using different colors to see what pattern emerges. In this piece, however, I started with an idea of the pattern I wanted, lots of little squares, about a square inch each.  I then made stencils of blocks of informal squares within a formal grid. I used these to remove color and add more colors. I like to work in layers, repeating similar elements, building up color and pattern until that point when the piece tells me it is finished.

"Down by the Pond I Found an Old Fishing Net"
24 x 80"
Silk Crepe, thickened MX dyes, textile paints

In this piece I used an old rusty fishing net I found at a pond near my house. I wanted to explore the design potential of a single tool. I prepared deconstructed screens by printing the fishing net image in dye on the screen. I also used wax resist and stamped with the fishing net. I monoprinted with the net, and then used the tool as a stencil. My favorite feature of this tool is that I can use it as both a stamp and a stencil, achieving a positive and negative image.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Current Exhibition at "Simply IrRESISTible" at somethings looming Fiber Arts Gallery, Reading, PA

40 works by 24 artists showcasing old and new resist techniques.
The Rose Window

On this length of dupion silk I used a similar set of folds and bindings for each stage of dyeing. I wanted the patterning from each layer to move in generally the same direction. After the third dye bath, I hung up the piece so that I could stand back and have a good long look at it. As I had hoped, the lines appeared to radiate from a central point somewhere off to the left of the piece, suggesting a larger rosette, only part of which was visible. Then it struck me: the memory of sitting inside the chapel at Mount Holyoke College, where soft afternoon light was filtering through the magnificent rose window.

String Theory

This piece is the result of a science experiment of sorts. I had a theory that string could act, not only as a resist, but as a mark-making tool,… that is, if I were to load the string with dye prior to using it to bind the fabric around the pole — in this case, a length of flexible vinyl duct, one of my favorite improvised tools because it leaves wavy lines suggesting ripples on water.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Art Cloth Network

After working in isolation over the past few years, learning from the internet, from books, and the occasional workshop, I felt I had hit a plateau of sorts. Perhaps there is a limit to how much one can learn on one's own. Growing within me was a tremendous need, not for a new book or another workshop, but a community. I wanted to sit in a room with other cloth artists, to join in the conversation about what makes a piece work and what's not working. A network of like-minded cloth artists is what I desired most at this point in my development. Network...  Art Cloth...  Art Cloth Network!

February 28 was the deadline for application to the Art Cloth Network. So I submitted my application and my jpegs, not really expecting to get in, (especially after seeing the artist resumes of current members) but hoping for, perhaps, some feedback or kindly advice.

On Monday, March 15, Susie Monday sent a welcoming email to the seven new members. I was stunned to see my name on the list.